The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Swing dance club is new to mhs

By Connor Bryant | Managing Editor of Copy

With the additional underclassmen at Marshfield, the school’s extracurricular activities have expanded in their diversity as well. A former Sunset Middle School dance club has migrated to Marshfield, and is now in full swing, literally.

The swing dance club, which currently consists of approximately a dozen students, was started by family and consumer science teacher Janet Saint, who is new to the high school this year. Saint, who originally learned to swing dance when she lived in Portland, started teaching swing dance to the middle school students about five years ago as part of their P.E. requirements.

“It started because we were teaching swing dance to the seventh and eighth graders, and then that was a way for kids to continue on that like the dancing,” Saint said. “They learned a lot more so it was a lot more fun.”

Like most of the club members, junior Cody Glenn started learning to swing dance in P.E. while a student at Sunset, but it soon became more than just a semester’s credit.

“It started as a P.E., and it got more entertaining for me,” Glenn said. “It’s probably the most entertaining thing I do.”

Glenn also helped fellow junior Alyssa Harvey get into the swing of things.

“I mean when I first came I was surrounded by a bunch of eighth graders and freshman. But it turned out that they were a lot like me,” Harvey said.

Harvey then encouraged her sister, eighth grader Jessica Harvey, to join the club as well. After some reluctance, Jessica began to realize the benefits of joining.

“Well I kinda like to dance, so it’s kinda the best thing for me,” Jessica Harvey said.

Jessica Harvey also enjoys the freedom that dancing brings.

“Here I could cut loose, no matter what,” Jessica Harvey said.

Freshman Kadie Backlund appreciates that same liberty to goof off when dancing and the energy that comes from the other dancers, as well as the sense of acceptance and cooperation.

“You’re surrounded by people who like the same thing you do with people who can communicate things,” Backlund said. “You’re not judged here.”

Although the name of the club is swing, according to Saint, the direction the dance lessons take is up to the students.

“In previous years, sometimes the kids have just decided that they want to do something else, so one year we learned tango, and then one year we did cha-cha, we did foxtrot; so it’s up to the kids for the most part,” Saint said. “They decide what they want to learn. They see some dance, and they say, ‘Oh that’s really cool; let’s learn that one.’”

Many of the club members have favorite dances. Eighth grader William Crombie enjoys the East Coast Swing, while Glenn prefers the Lindy Hop dance style.

“I think my favorite dance thing is Lindy Hop, and my reason for liking all this is because it’s a fun way to get moving that doesn’t really require special knowledge of anything,” Glenn said.

Apart from learning dances for their own benefit, the swing dance club has performed for several years at elementary schools, the Jazz and Salmon Festivals, and the Coos Bay School Community Foundation fundraiser held every spring at St. Monica Catholic Church.

Alyssa Harvey recalls borrowing leotards from the eighth grade dance team and performing for Madison students.

“We got a whole bunch of little kids to come up and dance with us,” Alyssa Harvey said. “It was so fun.”

Whether students joined because their friends were doing it, they needed a reason to be active, a sense of belonging, or because they just like to dance, the swing dance club members are enjoying the company of friends and learning new dances.

“How could you not love being surrounded by a bunch of goons that love to do what they do?” Alyssa Harvey said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Marshfield Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of Marshfield High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Marshfield Times

Comments (0)

All The Marshfield Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student News Site of Marshfield High School
Swing dance club is new to mhs